Police have stepped up patrols, analyzed security at homes and conducted special meetings with community leaders in south Charlotte in the past three weeks, trying to reassure residents that their neighborhood is safe after an 82-year-old woman was found killed in her home.
Ina Feldman’s son found her body around 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 4 in her town home on Torrey Pines Court, a south Charlotte community of mostly older people.
Police said this week that they have not identified a suspect in the shooting. And the crime appears to be the type that worries people most – a seemingly random attack on a woman who was doing nothing wrong.
Adding to the concern, police say the division where Feldman was found dead has some of the lowest rates of violent crime in the city. Torrey Pines Court is between Quail Hollow Country Club and Carmel Country Club. Last year, police investigated 58 homicides, but none in the police division in south Charlotte where Feldman’s body was found.
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Feldman’s son and other family members have declined to speak to the Observer about the case.
Lt. Travis Pardue, the Response Area Commander for the part of the city where the homicide occurred said the department kept two marked police cars stationed in Feldman’s neighborhood for weeks following the shooting.
“We’ve conducted security surveys of all the neighbors on Torrey Pines,” said Pardue, who added that officers have had a question-and-answer session with people who live in the neighborhood.
“I think the perception is that they are pleased with the police response to the incident,” Pardue told the Observer on Tuesday.
Still, Pardue and residents said neighbors were worried following a breaking and entering last week as a police helicopter hovered, its spotlight searching for a suspect.
On Tuesday, it was still unclear if Feldman was killed by someone she knew or a stranger. Police wouldn’t speculate on a motive in the killing or say whether there were signs of forced entry or a struggle at her house. A source told the Observer Feldman died of blunt force trauma.
Investigators also wouldn’t say when they believe she was killed, although they asked for people to come forward if they had seen anything suspicious in the neighborhood beginning about 3:30 a.m. on Feb. 3, 36 hours before Feldman’s body was found.
Investigators denied a request by the Observer to release the 911 call made from her house, saying it was part of the ongoing criminal investigation. They made a plea for the public to come forward on the day she was killed, but have not released a picture of her.